Julian Assange wins bid to enchantment in opposition to US extradition at High Court | UK | News | EUROtoday

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Julian Assange extradition

Julian Assange was not current in court docket (Dominic Lipinski/PA) (Image: PA Wire)

Julian Assange’s legal professionals have accepted an assurance that the United States is not going to search the demise penalty if the WikiLeaks founder is extradited and convicted, the High Court has heard.

Assange faces prosecution within the US over an alleged conspiracy to acquire and disclose nationwide defence data following the publication of tons of of hundreds of leaked paperwork referring to the Afghanistan and Iraq wars.

During a two-day listening to in February, legal professionals for the 52-year-old requested for the go-ahead to problem a earlier choose’s dismissal of his case to stop his extradition.

Last month, Dame Victoria Sharp and Mr Justice Johnson dismissed most of Assange’s authorized arguments however stated that except “satisfactory” assurances got by the US he would have the ability to deliver an enchantment on three grounds.

These assurances are that Assange could be protected by and allowed to depend on the First Amendment which protects freedom of speech within the US that he’s not “prejudiced at trial” due to his nationality, and that the demise penalty shouldn’t be imposed.

Julian Assange extradition

Assange faces prosecution within the US over an alleged conspiracy to acquire and disclose nationwide defence data (Image: PA Wire)

At a listening to on Monday, the High Court heard that the US authorities had supplied assurances to the court docket, with the promise to not impose the demise penalty accepted by Assange’s legal professionals.

Assange was not current on the listening to in London, along with his barrister Edward Fitzgerald KC telling the court docket that “for health reasons, he has decided not” to attend.

Lawyers on behalf of the US stated Assange’s bid to deliver an enchantment must be refused given the guarantees supplied in a notice from the US embassy in London.

One of the assurances reads: “The United States is able to provide such assurance as Assange is not charged with a death-penalty eligible offence, and the United States assures that he will not be tried for a death-eligible offence.”

The notice additionally states that Assange will have the ability to elevate and “seek to rely upon” protections below the First Amendment, and that he is not going to be prejudiced due to his nationality.

James Lewis KC, for the US, stated in written submissions that there’s “no question” that Assange, if extradited “will be entitled to the full panoply of due process trial rights, including the right to raise, and seek to rely upon, the first amendment as a defence”.

In response to the assurances, Assange’s spouse Stella Assange beforehand stated the US had supplied “blatant weasel words”.

And on Monday Mr Fitzgerald stated many of the guarantees have been “blatantly inadequate” however that that they had accepted the promise concerning the demise penalty.

In written submissions, the barrister stated that whereas the peace of mind over the demise penalty was “an unambiguous Executive promise”, the opposite assurance doesn’t give “any reliable promise as to future action”.

The barrister added in written submissions: “What needs to be conclusively removed is the risk that he will be prevented from relying on the first amendment on grounds of nationality.”

Mr Fitzgerald continued: “The problems with the assurance in this case, which seeks to avoid the consequences of that case law, are multi-fold.”

Dozens of Assange supporters gathered outdoors the Royal Courts of Justice in London forward of the listening to, with many holding banners and indicators.

Julian Assange extradition

Supporters of Julian Assange outdoors the Royal Courts of Justice in London (Lucy North/PA) (Image: PA Wire)

Members of the 52-year-old’s household, together with Mrs Assange and his father, attended the listening to.

In a January 2021 ruling, then-district choose Vanessa Baraitser stated that Assange shouldn’t be despatched to the US, citing an actual and “oppressive” danger of suicide, whereas ruling in opposition to him on all different points.

Later that yr, US authorities received their High Court bid to overturn this block, paving the way in which in direction of Assange’s extradition.

The listening to earlier than Dame Victoria Sharp and Mr Justice Johnson is because of conclude on Monday.